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The Value of Everything: Chris Gordon’s Gratitude Goggles

the value of everything

In this continuation of Chris Gordon’s story, Chris sets out to qualify for the Boston Marathon at the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon. Despite his best efforts, he finished with a time of 3 hours, 25 minutes, and 14 seconds – just missing the qualification time by a few seconds. Chris’ failure would hurt, but also serve as a reminder of perspective and the value of everything. 

A Bitter Pill to Swallow

“It was a real bitter pill to swallow,” Chris admitted. “I missed it by so few seconds. And there are a number of things that happened during the race that, you know, in hindsight, you’re thinking, ‘Well, if I hadn’t done this or if I hadn’t done that would make the difference.'” Initially disappointed, Chris began to reflect on his achievement.

A Survivor 

 He realized he had finished faster than most runners and well below the average marathon time of just over 4 hours. As a survivor of a life-threatening disease, Chris also recognized the significance of his accomplishment. “I am a survivor of a life-threatening disease that 20% of people die from. And I was still able to run a marathon despite missing an entire leg muscle. That in itself is an achievement,” he said.

A Balancing Act

Chris described the emotional process following the race as “a balancing act” of acknowledging both disappointments and successes. He viewed this experience as “a microcosm of life,” noting, “Not everything in life is going to go perfectly well. You’re going to have some mistakes. You might not make the main goal that you set for yourself.”

Started Too Early 

Analyzing his training, Chris realized he had started too early, peaking about a month before the race. He also identified the need for more strength training in future preparations. These insights would inform his approach to future marathons.


An Opportunity 

Chris, who is a motivational speaker and author, saw this experience as an opportunity to embody the messages he shares with others. “I want my audience to know that even though I have this grateful attitude, even though I wear a cape and I have this speaking message and a book that talks about gratitude, that does not mean my life is perfect by any means. I have struggles like everyone else does.”

Looking Beyond a Single Goal 

He emphasized the importance of looking beyond a single goal to appreciate the broader experience and growth. Chris introduced the concept of “gratitude goggles,” explaining, “By looking through what I call gratitude goggles, you’re able to view things in a more gracious light. You’re willing to forgive the negatives, forgive the imperfections, and find the value of everything around you.”

Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon 

Chris praised the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, describing it as a “hidden gem” with beautiful scenery, friendly people, and great value. He noted it’s an excellent choice for first-time marathoners due to its forgiving course.

The Importance of Self Care 

Looking ahead, Chris plans to focus on recovery, recognizing the importance of self-care as he approaches his 50th birthday. He’s signed up for the Minnesota Ragnar relay race in August 2024 and is considering another attempt at the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon next year.

A Powerful Reminder 

Chris’s experience serves as a powerful reminder of the value in perseverance, self-reflection, and maintaining a grateful perspective. As he put it, “The more that we can view things and people around us as valuable and as precious, the richer and wealthier we will feel, no matter what our bank statement says.” Chris’ journey serves as a reminder to find the value of everything when things get hard and seek perspective. 


Aum Gandhi Run Tri Bike Magazine Co-Owner

Aum Gandhi is a social media manager, content writer, and co-owner of Run Tri Bike. An active ultrarunner, Aum has a palpable love for the sport and the trail community. His purpose in all his professional and personal activities is to inspire others by leaving a positive impact. Aum maintains a personal blog on his website in which he shares both his running exploits and features of energizing endurance athletes to all audiences. In his free time, you’d probably catch Aum reading, crewing at races, playing video games, out on the trails, or watching NBA Basketball.